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What If You Still Can't Decide If You Like Social Media?

So I'm getting back into the blogging swing of things and came across an article in The Guardian entitled "I've Left Twitter. It Is Unusable For Anyone But Trolls, Robots and Dictators." Oh, boy. #Discuss.


As Guardian writer Lindy West elaborates in 140 characters (and more):

I deactivated my Twitter account today. It was more of a spontaneous impulse than a New Year resolution, although it does feel like a juice cleanse, a moulting, a polar-bear plunge, a clean slate (except the opposite – like throwing your slate into a volcano and running). One moment I was brains-deep in the usual way, half-heartedly arguing with strangers about whether or not it’s “OK” to suggest to Steve Martin that calling Carrie Fisher a “beautiful creature” who “turned out” to be “witty and bright as well” veered just a hair beyond Fisher’s stated boundaries regarding objectification (if you have opinions on this, don’t tweet me – oh, wait, you can’t); and the next moment the US president-elect was using the selfsame platform to taunt North Korea about the size and tumescence of its nuclear program. And I realised: eh, I’m done. I could be swimming right now. Or flossing. Or digging a big, pointless pit. Anything else.

The article got my attention. It's 2017, and I still can't decide whether or not I like social media, and how much I want to use it. I generally enjoy reading other people's status updates, though. It's not them, it's me. I also enjoy writing this workplace blog. Blogging is an early form of social media, no?

Yet, I've had the same thought every January for roughly the last decade as I ponder a few quick, easy New Year resolutions to pursue. Inevitably, the thought of crossing the social media event horizon crosses my mind. This is the year when I'm finally going to harness the power of social media, I think to myself. Maybe I'll enter the eye of a daily Twitter storm and shower my social media connections with random and frequent updates about...oh, I don't know...something?

Then I change my mind. I still find the social media scene off-putting somehow. It's not an age thing; I know plenty of Gen Xers who are updating their social media profiles on the fives. No, it's a personality thing. I'm the type of person who needs to think on something for awhile before thoughtfully responding. My mind-to-keyboard moments require a committee meeting of one before hitting "send." Besides, does anyone really care to see a photo of my half-eaten lunch plate or the bag of oranges I bought on sale? I sure hope not. In my opinion, a little mystery goes a long way in life and real writing starts with editing.

The TL;DR version: Social media isn't my thing, and that's okay.

It feels good to write this after so many past New Year resolution-making sessions rife with e-xistential crisis. Blogging this self-revelation doesn't make me cool or somehow above-it-all, it simply makes me slightly introverted and an oddity in today's mind-to-keyboard culture. I have a lot to say, it's just that social media isn't where I want to say it.

I realize that I'm going against the societal grain here: A 2015 Pew Research study found that nearly two-thirds of American adults (65%) use social networking sites -- a 7% increase over 2005. Almost all (90%) of young adults aged 18-29 use social media, and there's been a 69% increase in social media use among the 30-to-49 demographic, as well. In 2015, 77% of adults aged 30-49 were on social media in some capacity.

Still, there are millions of people out there who are just like me, the wallflowers at the social media dance who are there but are not there, content to hang back and watch the cool kids dab on the virtual dance floor before they inevitably start arguing with each other.

No, thanks. Maybe it's time to #Discuss why some people still have mixed feelings about social media use. In 2017. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go buy another bag of oranges while they're still on sale.

Comments

  1. Great post. I too struggle with social media. By nature, I'm a people person. However, I'm also a cancer who retracts to her shell every-so-often. I don't ALWAYS need to be in the presence of others nor do I feel that it's important to check in on social media multiple times a day - or every day for that matter. Unless it's for my job that is. My struggle has to do with putting my personal beliefs about social media aside when dealing with business. I'm a marketer and forced to be present on social media regularly. I have to keep my brand relevant and in today's world of influencers, that also means that I need to keep up with my professional brand on not only LinkedIn but Twitter and the likes. Not only does this position me as a thought leader but it's the only way I can remain relevant in the job market. It really stinks. At this point if I decide that I don't like social media I feel like I'm basically saying I don't like marketing : (

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    Replies
    1. Great comment. I agree with you. I'm a people person too, but I find social media incredibly exhausting. It's a rather empty form of expression. Glad to know I'm not the only one who still has some doubts about social media as a communication tool. Thank you for taking the time to comment, and happy new year!

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  2. I love social media. However, my interest in it these days ebbs and flows. It's so hard to sit in an executive meeting and having to have the same conversations I did over 10 years ago about the importance of social media for businesses and especially for engaging employees.

    Social media has brought me to so many great people and organizations as well as opportunities both professionally and personally that I have to remind myself. I think taking time off is good from social media so that you can really better appreciate it and the benefits it brings.

    JMM

    http://www.workology.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Jessica. I think taking time off from social media here and there is good for the mind and soul. It's interesting that business conversations about social media are still largely the same as they were 10 years ago. The technology changes a lot faster than mindsets, I guess!

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